Lantern display celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore
© Khin/Getty Image
A lunar lantern celebration
The Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, is a celebration of the autumn harvest observed by the Chinese and other Asian peoples. It falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the full moon closest to the fall equinox. Originally a plea to the gods for rains to ensure a good harvest next year, Mid-Autumn Festival has become a more secular bit of autumn fun, with children and adults gathering to give thanks, eat sweet mooncakes, and light lanterns like the hand-painted ones we're looking at here from a previous celebration in Singapore. This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival coincidentally lands on another Chinese holiday, National Day.